Newcomer Maddie Baillio has been chosen for the plum leading role of Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s upcoming live broadcast of the Tony-winning Broadway musical Hairspray.
A sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, the singer and dancer from League City, TX, beat more than 1,000 competitors at an April 24 open-call audition to win the role originated on Broadway by Marissa Jaret Winokur in 2002.
The live broadcast will take place December 7.
The Today show posted a video of Baillio learning that she had won the role:
Baillio recently starred in Dracula, the Musical and played Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress in student productions at Marymount Manhattan. She was named 2014 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador and in 2015 performed with Michael Feinstein at the Kennedy Center, the Grand 1894 Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Birdland Jazz Club.
How did NBC find Tracy? Read our exclusive: Behind the Scenes (and On the Line) at the Hairspray Live! Open Call
In addition to Baillio, Hairspray Live! stars multiple award winners Harvey Fierstein, who will recreate his iconic Tony Award-winning Broadway role as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short (Maya and Marty) as Wilbur Turnblad, Derek Hough (slated to make his Broadway debut next season in Singin’ in the Rain) as TV host Corny Collins and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (The Color Purple, Dreamgirls) as Motormouth Maybelle.
Live television director Alex Rudzinski (Grease Live!) will join director Kenny Leon (The Wiz Live!) to stage the broadcast. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the upcoming A Few Good Men Live!) serve as executive producers of Hairspray Live! Fierstein will provide a new teleplay and Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, On Your Feet) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Smash, Catch Me If You Can and Broadway’s upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Bernard Telsey and Abbie Brady-Dalton of Telsey + Company oversaw the casting campaign.